Seven months of events aimed at exploring celebrated author Russell Banks' many works will culminate at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, with "An Evening with Russell Banks," a community presentation with Banks in person, in Bexley High School's Schottenstein Theatre.
The Bexley Community Book Club, a program of the Bexley Education Foundation, has been preparing for his visit for nearly a year now, and looks forward to his evening lecture on the topic "The Politics of Art vs. the Art of Politics."
Banks will spend a portion of the following day, April 30, visiting with students at Bexley High School.
"Russell Banks' books give voice to a wide range of characters, from a teenaged runaway to a convicted sex offender to a historic abolitionist to a young Haitian woman who risks everything to get to the U.S.," Linda Kass, founder and chairwoman of the BCBC, said in a press release. "He offers a voice for the disenfranchised and expresses remarkable empathy for characters in all kinds of situations. We are excited to hear what he will say on April 29 about the role of politics in art, especially literature."
Since September, the BCBC has hosted, in conjunction with several community partner organizations, events that ranged from a literary salon at the Columbus JCC featuring local authors to a literary forum on literature and contemporary society at the Thurber Center to a screening of the film adaptation of a Banks novel, followed by a panel discussion at the Drexel Theatre.
Russell Banks' titles include Lost Memory of Skin, The Darling, The Sweet Hereafter, Pulitzer Prize finalists Cloudsplitter and Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, Affliction, Success Stories, Searching for Survivors, Trailerpark, The Book of Jamaica, The New World, Hamilton Stark and The Reserve. The Angel on the Roof is a collection of 30 years of Banks' short fiction.
He is also the author of Dreaming Up America, an American edition of his nonfiction book of essays, which was previously published in France under the title Amerique Notre Histoire.
Now in its seventh year, BCBC is a community-based vehicle for promoting lifelong learning and reading in Bexley and beyond.
This year's sponsors of Bexley Community Book Club include Giant Eagle, Linda and Frank Kass, the First Bexley Bank, Ohio State University Hospital East, PNC and US Realty Consultants. BCBC's Community Partners are Bexley Public Library, The Book Loft, Drexel Theatre, JCC of Greater Columbus, OSU Creative Writing Program, OSU Humanities Institute and Thurber House.
"An Evening With Russell Banks" is open to the public. Advance ticket price is $20 through April 28, and $25 at the door. Students $10 with ID, and seniors are $15.
Tickets will be available online through 5 p.m. Monday, April 28, at bexleyeducationfoundation.org or by calling 614-338-2093.